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Why the empowerment of students with autism is paid to technology companies

Why the empowerment of students with autism is paid to technology companies

In the last week, you may have noticed a small problem in our content on Alphr.com. Tuesday, announce that we will host a coding event for children on the autism spectrum for the charity of the year Dennis Publishing, CASPA (Association of Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum). Yesterday I wrote about the event itself with many images , but today I wanted to write something about the real problem that CASPA is trying to solve with the good work it does: bringing more people with autism to work.

«The path to employment is based less on being able to do a job well and more on being able to joke about doing a job well. In this sense, people on the autism spectrum are at a natural disadvantage even before entering the interview room. «

We know that career opportunities for people with autism are limited. As Helen Dyer from CASPA told me, about 85% of people with autism do not have a full-time job. The reasons for this are not difficult to understand from a social perspective: the way we hire people has a comic dependence on one-on-one relationships and social cues, which people with autism often struggle with to varying degrees of severity. The path to employment is based less on being able to do a job well and more on being able to joke about doing a job well. In this sense, people on the autism spectrum are at a natural disadvantage even before entering the interview room.

Michael Barton no wrote a brilliant article about how to live with autism. Michael works here at Dennis Publishing House in Buy a car as an analyst and is a sponsor of CASPA. I caught him for help with this article and what he said about the hiring process was quite bright: «With employers, I always found that there is a huge social trend towards the interview process,» he explained. «People naturally want to hire people they will get along with, who are similar to them. However, in the case of people with autism, because they do not have that social dexterity, it can put them at a disadvantage. [Galería: 12]

«On the other hand, you can find people who seem competent in an interview, but everything is very superficial. For people with autism, the opposite is true: because of the social tendency of an interview, they will often fail in this process, even if they are very good at work. «

Technology can be an answer to this. Dyer cites a recent televised example in which a young man with autism could not communicate in a job interview until he was presented with an iPad. «It seemed that the young man had nothing to do, he did not know what to say, but in reality it was only because he did not communicate in the way I wanted to communicate: with speech and language.»

This is one of the reasons companies like Microsoft taking measures to diversify the workforce . As Dave Coplin, the company’s vision manager, told me: » We thought, well, «the skills that far outweighed the adjustment difficulties we would have, why would we exclude these people from work?» «

This is a very good question and can give an advantage to companies that are actively acting against rigid long-term employment agreements. People on the autism spectrum often have a number of skills that make them suitable for a successful career in the technology industry, and are currently underrepresented. [Galería: 26]

«If more companies overcome these modest obstacles to make their businesses more accessible to people living with autism, they will benefit from a relatively untapped talent fund.»

«Basically, in people with autism, their brains are connected slightly differently,» Barton explains. «While their social skills lag behind, they are very interested in things like attention to detail, being able to focus on things for a long time and, if it is a topic that interests them in particular, they tend to wanting to learn everything. . » All this means brains suitable especially for the basic elements of the technology industry, such as coding.

As Coplin previously suggested when talking about «accommodation difficulties», making an office space or even an entire corporate culture, respecting autism is not completely easy, but neither is rocket science. Part of the problem is that the autism spectrum, as the name suggests, covers a broad spectrum. «Although most people have heard of the term autism, it affects different people in different ways,» says Barton.

«Autism is just one part of a person, which could make employers think, ‘Well, what can we do to help people with autism?’ ” Because autism is a spectrum, what works for some people will not necessarily work for others. Everything sounds very vague and may seem expensive, but it can be very simple. » Barton cites quiet areas and the importance of establishing clear written routines and instructions, rather than relying on «unwritten rules,» which are often taken for granted in the modern workplace. [Galería: 3]

If more companies overcome these modest obstacles to make their businesses more accessible to people living with autism, they will benefit from a relatively untapped talent fund. But for now, CASPA and such charities must continue to do everything possible to prepare those on the autism spectrum to play the game as it is written for the rest of the population.

Dyer is willing to help, but wants companies to do everything they can to make jobs more accessible. «Organizations like CASPA: we know what they need, we know what to do, but we don’t have the capacity to do that [hacer que las empresas sean aptas para el autismo] to asphalt like that ”. An unemployment rate of 85% is a rather embarrassing statistic that everyone should change, but if the human angle does not cause companies to act, we hope it will have economic value.

For more information on the charity of the year Dennis Publishing, CASPA, visit their official website here .